by Yuuki Yamagiwa
Nathalie Gonthier-Thomas first discovered Classical Pilates after her pregnancy. She decided to become certified to deepen her practice and share the benefits of Pilates with others. She discovered a passion for teaching during her training and was certified through the Pilates Technique Certification Program with Jill Cassady.
Read on to learn more about Nathalie, including what inspires her as both a teacher and practitioner!
How has Pilates changed your life?
From my first private session, I was amazed at how quickly Pilates helped me recover strength, flexibility, and balance, and also how good it made me feel. At the time I discovered Pilates, I was a new mom and worked a desk job, and Pilates helped me feel less tired at the end of the day. Pilates made me aware of my body and helped me experience the mechanics of it; it showed me the connections between the mind and the body.
Now, it helps me in every aspect of my life, from engaging in daily chores, to practicing sports and playing with my daughter. Pilates helps me get stronger as I age and stay away from injury.
Pilates definitely helps in gaining strength, and you do have a strong Pilates practice! What’s your favorite and least favorite Pilates exercise?
It’s hard to pick one exercise as a favorite. They all bring their goodness to a body. If I had to choose, my favorite would be either the Tower on the Cadillac, or the Pull Ups on the Wunda chair. But if you look at both of those they are kind of the same, except that in one you’re looking up, and in the other you’re looking down. The shape of the body and the reach from head to toes are the same. My least favorite would have to be the handstand, or the headstand on the reformer.
You’re right - finding the connections with exercises between the different apparatuses allows us to find the correct muscles to move from! Speaking of equipment, if you were stranded on a desert island and you could only have one piece of equipment with you, which one would you pick?
The Magic Circle: It works your entire body out from head to toe. It also targets muscles in the body you didn’t even know you had ☺!
The Magic Circle is a great choice! Now, let’s talk about teaching. What’s your favorite thing about being a Pilates teacher?
To be able to help my clients connect to their body and realize their potential is a wonderful journey that I love sharing with them. I love seeing the smiles on their faces as they progress and feel better and stronger after sessions.
Sounds inspiring! Do you have any inspiration or inspiring quotes you’d like to share?
“Change happens through movement and movement heals,” by Joseph Pilates. Without movement, there truly is no life. On a biological level, blood cells that don't move cannot transport oxygen, lungs that don't move can't breathe, hearts that don't move can't pump blood, and spines that don't move can't create the motion required for the activities of daily living. The connections to the brain that allow our body to operate are in constant movement. To be and stay active throughout our lives is the best way to stay healthy and feel good about ourselves.